It’s impossible to go through the day without experiencing a myriad of emotions—positive or negative. How you respond to such emotions as they pop up is a deciding factor in how they guide your health. So be aware, and choose wisely.
Browsing through the SRP Historical Archives, I discovered the 1954 article “A Concept of Totality,” by Joe Nichols, MD. In it, he explains that it’s your emotions, more than anything else in your life, that lead to disease. Malnutrition follows close behind. All emotions impact the body as well as the mind. You get excited about a new job opportunity, and your heart rate goes up. You get angry, and you can feel the tension in your stomach, head, and heart.
Of course, you need to experience your emotions, and you shouldn’t shy away from any of them. However, it’s important to develop coping mechanisms that allow your emotions to flow through you and then move on. Nichols suggests implementing the three A’s—acceptance, approval, and adoration—to deal with your emotions in a healthy manner.
Let’s take a closer look at the example of anger that I mention above. When you feel the tension, you can cope with it by realizing you only have control over your own actions. Think about what you like about the person rather than this one episode that’s upsetting you. We’re human beings, and we aren’t always going to like every little detail about the people in our lives. That’s okay. Cope with it and move on.
Need more specific actions to ensure your emotions stay in check? Regular exercise is a fantastic stress reliever. Meditation calms the mind and body in the most wonderful way. Practicing forgiveness allows you to release toxic emotions. Even sitting with a cup of chamomile tea or journaling about the next steps that will take you closer to that new job opportunity can refocus your mind in a positive direction.
Ignoring the emotions that surface each day, whether it’s all of them or even just one in particular, may result in some of the following signals from your body:
- High blood pressure
- Chest pains (angina)
- Stiff neck
- Weight gain or loss
If you find it difficult to put coping mechanisms into action on your own, there’s no shame in recruiting the help of trained professionals. It would be a shame to end up with an avoidable, potentially life-threatening disease.
How are you letting emotions guide your health?